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Tuesday, 19 October 2010

[BAA 00521] Improved Computing Section applet to plan your viewing sessions

BAA electronic bulletin No. 00521   

The solar system applet on the Computing Section web site
( has been considerably enhanced to make
it an invaluable tool for planning observing sessions.
It gives a rapid summary of where solar system objects appear for your
latitude, and will appear in the near future, in a readily assimilated
graphical format.
Initially it shows the positions of the Sun, major planets and,
importantly, the Moon so it is immediately obvious whether that will
interfere with observing.
It is easy to add minor planets (from a list of 93) and periodic comets
(30 at opposition in the coming year) or any objects for which you know
the heliocentric elliptical orbital elements.
The plot is interactive. Click on any object to get a summary of its
position, phase angle and, for minor planets, a magnitude estimate (from
H and G parameters). This summary can be copied and pasted to compile a
list of observable objects to go and see.
The Computing section website can be found from the BAA website:

or directly:

To go straight to the applet:

Sheridan Williams
Computing Section Director
British Astronomical Association
baa (at) clock-tower (dot) com

BAA electronic bulletins service.      E-mail:
Bulletin transmitted on Mon Oct 18 21:35:30 BST 2010
(c) 2010 British Astronomical Association
Good Clear Skies
Colin James Watling
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)

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